SAN ANTONIO, TX – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) announced today the appointment of Fátima Lucía Menéndez as Southwest Regional Counsel.

In her new role, Menéndez will continue to lead the San Antonio MALDEF office in its litigation and policy work in the Southwest, which includes Texas, Colorado, New Mexico and other states.  Menéndez has served as interim regional counsel since last September.

Menéndez joined MALDEF in 2017 as a legislative staff attorney in the organization’s San Antonio office where she focused on policy work and testified before the Texas Legislature on education, voting rights and immigrants’ rights.  Since then, she has also worked on litigation ranging from a challenge to Senate Bill 1, a Texas anti-voter measure, to representation of local homeowners seeking to block construction of a detention center for migrant children.

“Fatima Menéndez has been a champion of Latino civil rights throughout her legal career, including leading MALDEF’s efforts in the Texas legislature over several sessions,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel.  “Her transition to leadership of both policy and litigation efforts, and in managing the San Antonio office, will undoubtedly benefit MALDEF’s mission, and we look forward to her many contributions to civil and constitutional rights in the future.”

Before working at MALDEF, Menéndez served as a senior staff attorney at the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Educational and Legal Services in San Antonio. She earned her law degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law, where she was honored as the 2020 Distinguished Young Alumna, and her Bachelor of Arts degree from St. Mary’s University.

“As Texas attacks the civil rights of Latinos and attempts to pass xenophobic legislation, MALDEF will continue to lead the fight to protect the rights of all Latinos in Texas and throughout the country,” Menéndez said.  “Growing up in San Antonio – where MALDEF was founded – I was inspired by MALDEF’s legacy and I am honored to lead the Southwest Regional Office.”